Candy posts so much more than I do, I am embarrassed that I’m half of the dynamic smartly bitchy duo on this site. I mean, I got other locales where I bust with the snark, but still, I’m slackin’ and for that I apologize.
While cute cashiers never see me scanning naked dukes (is that produce or canned goods?), I do have a rather arge stack of romances to be read. I don’t buy them, however, as I subscribe to Books(not)Free and have them delivered to me by mail. The shipping is slow (It is media mail, after all) but I do get a good amount of backlists of authors, particularly editions with goofy covers that reflect the sensibilities of romance readers back about ten to fifteen years ago. Right now, it seems folks
go for jewel tone fabric covers with flowers or jewels on them, perhaps with a half-naked stepback image of some beefy dude and a long-limbed (and strangely hairless – anyone ever wonder why romance heroines appear on covers as if they wax their legs? I mean, some of these women should have dark leg hair judging by their described “dark exotic looks.” Was there hair removal back then or are we just ascribing 20th century sensibilities on 18th century women?) heroine reclining on a sofa or chaise in an artless and doubtless uncomfortable position.
The Books(not)Free copies are old enough that sometimes I get beefcake on the cover – and I love when that happens because cashier smirking has NOTHING on a subway car full of snide New Yorkers checking a glimpse of the beefy and hirsuite Earl of Gogglestaff and his buxom lovely, Lady Chessa, daughter of the Duke of Putsaught. I generally put my bag on my lap and use it like a pillow so as to hide the cover.
In the past week or so I’ve read “Duke of Sin” by Adele Ashworth,which received very high reviews, particularly for the hero, on LLB, but didn’t leave me with any memorable impression. In fact, when I looked over at the Reader Survey at LLB, I thought, “Didn’t I just read that?” Then I dug through the pile of to-be-mailed paperbacks on the hall table and found it. I think I read it last week? It left no impression on me, which isn’t much of a recommendation, but at least I didn’t hate it. I certainly don’t think it was a book of the year.
However, Candy is much better than I am at reading books and remembering authors, titles, and plotlines than I am. I tend to mix them up. I once mis-remembered a book as the plotline to a Garth Brooks’ song. I’m not even kidding. Mostly I remember the feeling I got when reading the book. If it made me cry, if I wanted to curl up
and whimper with glee at the characters, if the whole damn story was so good I was about to pummel anyone who interrupted my reading. There are a few books like that, and I should pay more attention to them, if only because far more bore or irritate me with lame conventions and poor excuses for storyline.
One was “Bitten,” by Kelley Armstrong. Talk about hot attraction and damn fine characters. Wow, I get the vapors just thinking about it. Another was “The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn. Quinn is interesting for a good many reasons, one being that she can write a “light” romance without the story or characters being “light” on quality and depth,
and another being that she picks interesting and clever personal flaws or the heros to overcome or deal with, from stuttering to parent death. “Undead and Unwed” by Mary-Janice Davidson cracked me up, and I totally loved the imperfect heroine who had a moral code and a love of shoes. And that Eric dude. Yow. Something about dudes with prickly exteriors (no pun intended) and mushy interiors that they struggle to keep hidden, damn that’s hot.